Document testing is a systematic process of inspection that is designed to identify quality shortfalls in a document. Such shortfalls can be captured as defects that are assigned to the owner of the document to fix. The following are common elements of document testing.
ReadabilityThe overall readability and look & feel of the document. This includes spelling, grammar, visual design and usability. For example, a defect might be logged against a document that makes heavy use of acronyms that may be unknown to members of its target audience.
ConsistencyA document that is internally consistent and/or that conforms to standards and conventions. For example, a user interface design document that includes mockups of simple screens but lacks mockups for more complex screens.
AccuracyDoes the document reflect business and technical realities? For example, a user guide that makes incorrect statements about how an invoicing tool calculates tax.
CompletenessA document that is missing content such that it fails to achieve its objectives. For example, an information security guide that informs employees they should secure mobile devices without explaining how this is achieved.
NotesDocument testing is typically performed from the perspective of the document's target audience. For example, a software architecture document would be tested from the perspective of software developers that use the architecture to implement software. This may complement a process of peer review whereby other architects look at the professional quality of a document.
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